The coronavirus pandemic resulted in an upheaval of working life, from furloughs to home-working and beyond. But as the virus’ grip loosens on the UK, workers are returning to offices, even in as part of a hybrid-working agreement. This return to offices has sparked conversation about office comfort, and what can be done to make an office more conducive to health and productivity. An often-overlooked aspect is lighting; new advances in LED lighting have made for compelling discoveries about our health at work, and the effect lighting can have.
What is LED Lighting?
The term ‘LED’ stands for ‘Light Emitting Diode’; LEDs area type of diode, a semiconductor which produces light as a function of electricity flowing through it. Semiconductors essentially work by activating the flow of electrons across a conducting service when electricity is applied; in the case of LEDs, this electron movement releases energy, via electroluminescence, in the form of photons – enabling the creation of light at a relatively low energy cost. LEDs have evolved significantly over the years, from basic infrared indicators to large-array lighting solutions. But why are LEDs better than other office lighting solutions, such as the evergreen filament light bulb or fluorescent tube?
Lighting can have major effects on the productivity of your office team: 80% of office workers report good workspace lighting as of particular importance to them. Whether filament bulbs require frequent replacement, and fluorescent tubes on the verge of failure can produce audible ‘klinks’, strobing and fluttering, LED lights are stable and long-lasting, making for a less stressful office lighting solution with minimal maintenance required and a long operating life.
the filament bulb releases more than 70% of its energy as infra-red energy – or heat –, not light, making them potentially dangerous to change after failure. Alternatively, LED lights do not produce infra-red wavelengths unless they are designed to – meaning they are cool to the touch during operation, and in the event that they require changing.
LED lights are vastly more efficient than other light sources with equivalent output; as mentioned in the previous section, they do not produce heat as readily as filament bulbs, bringing down energy costs for the same amount of light produced. Fluorescent bulbs are better than filament bulbs for energy usage, but still don’t quite measure up to LED alternatives for sustainability.
As LED technology continues to advance, LED lighting solutions become cheaper and cheaper to implement. They also last significantly longer than filament bulbs, and somewhat longer than fluorescent tubes – making them less costly in the long run, both to replace and in terms of frequency of replacements.
The LED represents a revolution in technology; a new solution for lighting spaces, with less expense, lower emissions, less waste and concrete benefits to the health of your staff. It may be time to ditch the office lighting of yesteryear.
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